CD Chroma [Laurel MacDonald] (CD 4451126),
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Chroma [Laurel MacDonald]
1. Wing and a Prayer, A
2. Agnus Dei
3. Lament of the Birds
4. Oran Na H-Eala
5. Seek Ye the Lambs
6. Book of Colour
9. Upon Silence
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 63270
Philip Strong; Phil Strong
Personnel: Laurel McDonald (vocals, guitar, vacuvox, bodhran, bell); Philip Strong (guitar, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion, shaker, toob); Rob Piltch (electric & pedal steel guitars); John Gzowski (guitar); Patrick O'Gorman (whistle, uillean pipes); David Travers-Smith (trumpet); David Woodhead (bass); Paul Brennan (drums); Mark Duggan (moringa).
Engineers include: Jeff Elliott, David Travers, Philip Strong.
Personnel: Laurel MacDonald (guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, E-bow, flute, bells); Phil ? (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, prepared piano, keyboards, drums, shaker, percussion, bells); Patrick O'Gorman (whistling, pipe, Uilleann pipe); Dave Woodhead (guitar, drums, bodhran, percussion); Rob Piltch, John Gzowski (guitar); Dave Smith , David Travers-Smith (trumpet); Paul Brennan (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Dave Smith ; David Travers-Smith.
Recording information: Found Sound; Reaction Studio; Reaction Studios; Somnambulab.
Photographer: Andrew MacNaughtan.
Unknown Contributor Role: Phil ?.
Arrangers: Phil ?; Laurel MacDonald.
This haunting blend of traditional Cape Breton music and modern technology is at once comforting and powerful. Laurel MacDonald's music is inextricably tied to the traditions of Cape Breton and its Scottish/Irish roots. No matter how heavily she relies on new technology, the strength of this connection always shines through. Those familiar with Mary Jane Lamond's Suas E! will have an inkling of what to expect here, as she was the co-producer of that disc along with Phil Strong, who happens to produce this record. Like Lamond's disc, Chroma is sung in a mix of Gaelic and English, to very good effect. MacDonald's voice is breathy and soft, floating with the music like a bird soars on the thermals. "Lament of the Birds" is a perfect showcase for her ethereal yet strong voice, which holds the listener transfixed by the visual images it projects. At other times her voice speaks with a simmering authority, as on "Trans-Chant." Part of McDonald's effectiveness is that she uses the music to support the mood that her voice is trying to convey. And it is that voice which makes Chroma such a thoroughly enjoyable listen. ~ Bob Gottlieb
Dirty Linen (12/99-1/00, p.87) - "...[the] integration of both ancient and modern elements makes her music compelling....CHROMA would not sound out of place at a rave (at least one for the rave generation's parents)..."
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